In case you are aghast at that title, I am using the term ‘ass’ — in part — in the same way you would find the word used in several publications, even the Bible. In fact, asses are all over the place in the Bible – there was at least one in the stable when Jesus was born. Ass is of course another term for a donkey.
When you think of the sound a donkey makes, it is loud and obnoxious and likely unnecessary, but the donkey honks anyways, a noise also known as braying. Which brings me to my topic.
What is your personality type while driving? Are you a Type C (mellow, taking your time), Type B (going with the flow, keeping your cool), Type A (aggressive and uptight and often driving unsafely and using the horn as a second language) or a Type D (an unhappy hater who lays on the horn and spreads miseray). Funny, but even some Type B’s and even Type C’s can turn into Type A’s or Type D’s when they’re behind a wheel and encased in what seems like the safety of steel. Perhaps they’re running late, or maybe driving brings out the jerk in them — we all have a jerk inside otherwise known as the ego, driven by wanting to be first and also driven out of fear, as in being late for work.
City living is generally a noisy lifestyle. There is an almost continuous barrage of loud noises, few of them pleasant and some that we’ve been warned can even cause hearing loss. A savvy person who wishes to keep their hearing intact will hold their ears as sirens pass by.
Some noises are hard to avoid, though, like when a truck backs up in your alley with that piercing back-up beeping sound in the middle of the night. Ear plugs can come in handy at such times; though they may not completely block the noise, they can reduce the damage and disturbance.
City dwellers accept this as a part of their chosen lifestyle, taking the good with the bad, because the city has so much to offer, and some people love to live right in the midst of it, a lifestyle that can is convenient as well as exciting. What is unfortunate is that on a gorgeous day of fresh wafting air (yes, even in the city), opening the windows can invite all this ruckus into one’s living space. It’s frustrating as well to have to interrupt what one is doing to shut the windows, which hopefully are soundproof.
A gorgeous Chicago day last summer comes to mind. Living nearby Grant Park, windows all flung open wide, one could catch a hint of the crab apple blossoms carried on the breeze. At the same time, an event was taking place in Grant Park. Toward the end of the day when everyone hopped in their vehicles to drive home, the noise from all the honking became almost intolerable. And why? Because of asses!
You can expect, when hundreds of people leave an event at the same time, to be sitting in traffic for a while. This is a given. And if it’s a gorgeous summer afternoon and everyone around you is gridlocked too, why would anyone with any intelligence or logic bother to honk, much less lay on the horn?!
Think about it: Honking is especially stupid in such a situation because it makes no sense: It doesn’t speed up the process. What it does do is irritate the police traffic director, if there is one. The unpleasant sound of someone laying on the horn is an unnecessary stressor to everyone within hearing range. It startles nearby pedestrians. The blare travels into the windows of close-by buildings where hundreds of people live and impacts their lives negatively, robbing them of the peace and quiet one should be able to enjoy in one’s own home.
Like ripples on water, if you honk in this scenario, you are essentially making the world a worse place to live. Is that your intent? Then you are an ass! You are feeding your own frustration like a glutton in a hot dog eating contest.
Do you really want to make this world a worse place to live? If not, then better yourself: next time you get behind the wheel, retrain yourself to refrain from honking. What can you do when you’re tempted to get impatient and honk? Relax, breathe deeply; mini-meditate; spark a discussion with any passengers you are carrying, maybe start a car game; turn on some of your favorite music or some other form of entertainment, like an audible book; roll down the windows and enjoy the fragrant fresh air; people-watch; enjoy the city scenery, the pretty sky; mindfully decide to enjoy the NOW of your life, no matter where you find yourself – yes, even in a traffic jam — rather than attempting a mad rush through life…to what? The grave! So you see how futile honking is as well as crummy.
Stop being an ass and start being a high caliber human being — someone who is evolving, someone who is civilized, someone who strives to make this world a better place. No one has any respect whatsoever for those who honk unnecessarily.